Friday, 28 August 2015

Not Better. Not Enlightened.

We realise we can be deliberately antagonistic. Okay to go with that sometimes though, seems to be the flavour of the century. Moan moan. It was just the other day that I found out that the new Banksy tautology is called "dismaland". I laughed like a fart. But it did lead me to think about the current stress placed on street art. It feels like every broken corner is being cleaned up and dragged screaming into a world coerced and monitered by schemes of false perfection. If you go to Athens you'll see graffiti all over the walls. Little messages in different languages. Symbols and sigils. And none of it is polished. Every slogan overcomes and physically detains another. Now think about the imperative of a contemporary British street artist. Cleverness. Juxtapositions. Tesco and a starving child. The entire affect orbitting around the comfort of being shown what you already know, and that showing is also the relief of not being, in that being is in itself nostalgia; pining for not being which is made momentarily and accutely possible only within the comprehension of an imagined elsewhere; dependant on its spectrality. Not sure about that or stating it. Just testing it. Now think about counterculture. Think about what actually lasts and performs any kind of alternative. At once remaining and altering. Martin Rev made an album based on the Catholic Mass and it's amazing. Possibly one of the most damaged/hurt/hopeful things I've ever heard. Every few minutes the rythmns fuck up. The synths are unmistakably false and the vocals are usually just mumbles, sobs and slurs. Now think about production values, which are work ethics based on the idea of a limit and perfection. In dismaland you can remote control overcrowded refugee boats. For all we care you can drown yourself. You're so cynical, aren't you. Top fucking Brooker. On a wall in Athens we saw scrawled in haste the words "I am sorry for what I said when I was hungry". That pretty much does it. Instead of going to a white gallery why not just sit with your eyes closed humming those words over and over again, louder and louder, until suddenly you apparate in the middle of a conversation about ethical banking with massive slabs of granite for hands and you smash the walls and there is no language left except "I am sorry for what I said when I was hungry" jutting out in every direction, opening and closing, ringing, screeching and humming. Like anyone can tell us where to move our eyes and what they should do. Like art is not full of suffering. Defying cleverness. Yeah. Moan moan moan. Get back to the point. All I really wanted to say, Mr. Watkins, is I hope you're happy and enjoying your hols, but I still think we need to batter these arts council shits when we get the chance. Lots of love. xx


  1. Trying to run a poetry workshop in particular for marginalised groups in Brighton? This is the level of cooperation you get from this council.
    "Following on from our conversation yesterday, I have double checked with our buildings team and there is no negotiation on the need for a steward at the weekend.
    I have spoken to the manager of stewards to find out costs for you;
    Weekend hourly rate is £14.82; weekend pay is higher than the weekly rate, additionally as they are casual staff the minimum amount of hours they can be booked for is 3, although the reality is that understandably most of the stewards are unlikely to agree to work less than 4 hours.
    Total £59.28.
    I realise this cost could possibly be beyond the means of the attendees, however the Education Pavilion isn’t being charged for, that would be an additional cost of £68.00 (total)
    - minimum booking 4 hours.
    You could decide to fund raise to cover the session costs, or get people to make a small contribution and then raise the rest.
    As agreed when I first met to discuss the possibility of using the Museum for the sessions, if we are going to continue to provide the Educational Pavilion without charge I need feedback, there is increasing pressure on our funding, we have already had a reduction of funding that was agreed pre the election, additionally we are year on year facing reductions in the grants from Brighton & Hove Council.
    I very much want to ensure that we are supporting groups and enabling people to have access to our Museums and spaces but I need to have information and evidence to back that work." Oh Yeah?

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